Monday, September 2, 2013

Standing With President Obama

Let me preface this by saying that I didn't exactly vote for President Obama.  I don't agree with all of his positions.  Sometimes, his manner kind of gets on my nerves.  But, neither do I believe that he is an evil man.  And I admire many of his ideals.

Now President Obama is kind of between a rock and a hard place with this whole Syrian situation.  Many opinions are being flung at him from near and from far.  Members of Congress, members of the press, celebrities, ordinary American citizens, the Pope, leaders of other countries, and the Syrian people themselves are all weighing in.  This is NOT, of course, inappropriate.

What is inappropriate?  At least in my opinion?  I have been seeing a great number of snarky, rude, ignorant, uninformed statements being tossed around over the "airwaves" (as we used to call them in the olden days).

Why do I believe this to be inappropriate?  Because, at some point, President Obama is going to have to make a decision.  He will have to choose our country's course of action in response to the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria, by Syrians, on Syrians.  And, when he does, if the citizens of our country are seen by the world as fighting in an uncivilized manner with one another, if we are seen as a country divided and coming apart at the seams, it is just going to make the situation in Syria worse.  The "bad guys" in Syria are going to look at how we -- in the United States -- can't even get along with each other and they are going to use that to their advantage.  They will use our bad behavior as an excuse not to change their own bad behavior, and even, perhaps, as cover for more bad behavior. 

Please don't think I am saying that we should all shut our mouths and line up like complacent sheep behind President Obama, no matter what he does.  I am not saying that.  In a country in which freedom of speech holds pride of place, all should be encouraged to express their points of view.  But, because we do have this precious right to speak freely, we need to understand that we bear some responsibility for how we use that right.  We need to express ourselves in an informed and educated manner.  We need to speak in a way that is measured.  Our tone should reflect some sense of appreciation for the inherent complexity of the situation.  We need to be thoughtful and classy people.  This is my idea, at least, of what it means to be an adult citizen of the United States of America.  Because, yes, we have many "rights."  But, those rights bring with them a need to behave in a mature, civilized manner.  Otherwise, we just hurt our country, our world, each other -- and ourselves.

So, when the rubber hits the road and President Obama makes what has to be one of the most difficult decisions of his life, I hope we can be respectful toward him.  I hope we can appreciate all the factors that are going into that decision.  I hope we will realize that there is sensitive information to which he is privy and the rest of us are not.  I hope we will stand with him, as the man we elected to be our President, even if we disagree with him, showing the world that we are, truly, one nation (whether or not we all concur about the "under God" part).

No comments:

Post a Comment